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The exterior of your home is the first thing people notice when they drive by or come to visit. An attractive, well-maintained exterior can go a long way in boosting your home’s curb appeal. This creates a great first impression, but upgrading your home’s exterior can also increase its value.
According to the 2022 Remodeling Impact Report from the National Association of Realtors, exterior upgrades like installing new entry doors and garage doors and replacing windows can recoup over 75% of the project cost.
Here are some smart exterior renovation ideas you can do to give your home an instant facelift and potentially increase its resale value:
Upgrade your coat of paint
A fresh coat of exterior paint is one of the most affordable ways to boost your home’s curb appeal. Even if your existing paint job is still in good condition, fading and discoloration can make your home look dull and dated.
Painting your exterior costs an average of $2,500, as per HomeAdvisor’s True Cost Guide, but has an expected return on investment of about 107%.
When choosing an exterior colour scheme:
– Pick 1-2 colours that coordinate well with your home’s architectural style.
– For a bolder look, use an accent colour on the front door, window trim, or shutters.
– Stick to lighter or neutral tones to make a smaller home appear larger.
Boost your ROI by 15-25% more by painting or staining exterior elements like fascias, fences, and porches.
Paint the doors
Along with your home’s exterior walls, your front and garage doors likely endure plenty of wear from sun, rain, wind, and daily use. Restoring them with a fresh coat of paint does wonders regarding visual impact.
Focus on your entry door since it offers guests their first up-close impression of your home. An eye-catching front door colour complements your exterior colour scheme and makes a vibrant statement.
For wooden doors that are weather-beaten or cracking, proper prep work like sanding and caulking before painting can help the new paint adhere better and last longer.
Expect a 65-75% ROI by investing sweat equity into painting your exterior doors in attractive colours.
Revamp your front lawn
Well-designed landscaping does more than look nice – it can increase your home’s value by as much as 28%, according to SFGate. Replacing overgrown bushes and trees with low-maintenance greenery and flowers makes the exterior space more inviting and gives buyers better curb appeal.
Some easy landscaping projects like mulching and adding flower beds or stone borders can provide great ROI. For a lush lawn, aerate, dethatch, and re-seed bare patches, or lay fresh sod if large sections are beyond saving.
Here is the average cost-to-return ratio for popular landscaping projects:
Consult a landscaping pro to select plants suitable for your climate and home style to boost functionality alongside aesthetic value.
Add exterior decorative lighting
Outdoor lighting serves both aesthetic and functional purposes for your home exterior. Pathway lights guide the way for guests at night, while spotlights showcase architectural details.
Well-placed lighting also improves home security as it deters prowlers. For budget-friendly and energy-efficient options, install solar-powered pathways and security lights.
Here are some highly impactful outdoor lighting projects:
- Spotlights to highlight focal points like the entryway, trees, or garden beds
- Rope lights lining staircases, fences, or edges of porches and patios
- Landscape uplights placed behind trees and bushes to produce a glow
- Permanent decorative lighting to amplify your home like architectural lighting
Spending $2,000 to add tasteful exterior lighting returns $1,500 on average at resale, making it a smart investment for approximately 75% ROI.
Power wash your driveway and pavements
Over time, dirt, mildew, and grime can make exterior hardscapes appear dingy, even if they are structurally sound. For around $200, you can rent a commercial power washer at Home Depot or Lowe’s. This is an easy DIY project that yields impressive visual results.
Keep these pressure-washing tips in mind:
- Prevent surface damage using the right nozzles and keeping water pressure below 1500 PSI for concrete.
- Thoroughly clean out crevices and patch holes or cracks afterwards.
- Hire a pro if moss has extensively grown between brick pavers or concrete seams.
Expect over 90% ROI on renewing your home’s exterior surface with power washing instead of replacing dated hardscapes.
Add decorative elements
Drawing buyers’ eyes to special aspects of your home exterior adds a unique flair. Dec decorative accents make your home stand out on the curb for a relatively small spend.
Some easy DIY decorative upgrades include:
- House numbers or monogram above the garage
- Window flower boxes overflowing with bright blooms
- Rainchains instead of downspouts to add visual style
For a more upscale look, add custom wood or composite decorative elements like:
- Column wraps flanking the front entryway
- Pediment windows over the garage or front door
- Custom garage doors with attractive wood patterns
While ROI varies based on materials and intricacy of detail, most decorative additions recoup over 70% of their cost in added home value.
Power wash and repaint your fence
Does your fence look faded or dirty? Before considering tearing it down and rebuilding, try power washing it instead. Rent the same commercial power washer used earlier to clean your exterior hardscapes.
Quickly remove mildew, mud splashes, weather stains and chalky oxidation on your existing wood or vinyl fence with a thorough pressure washing. Pay special attention to ground-level boards and gate posts, which get dirtiest.
After allowing the fence to dry out completely, apply fresh paint or stain in a harmonizing shade. This preserves the wood and forms a protective barrier against moisture and UV rays to prevent further weathering.
You can make an old fence look brand new for $500-600 in rental equipment, supplies and labour. Compare this to spending $15-25 per linear foot installing new fencing.
Before starting any ambitious exterior renovations, homeowners usually have some common queries. Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions:
Should I check with the neighbours or Homeowners Association before making changes?
If you live in an area governed by an HOA, get the Association’s approval before making external structural changes visible from the streetscape. Some neighbourhoods even have colour schemes that you must comply with for exterior paint.
Checking with adjacent neighbours is an optional courtesy for smaller cosmetic upgrades like front door colours or installing an ornamental mailbox. Discuss constructively if they raise concerns over privacy or blocking views.
What should I focus on if I have a limited budget?
A few impactful exterior upgrades to prioritize on a tight budget are:
- Power washing dirty hardscapes for a quick facelift at minimal cost
- Touch up painting worn spots or repainting trim in a modern, complementary colour
- Exterior lighting additions to highlight gardens or home features New house numbers or attractive hardware on the front door for character
These simple renovations provide visually transformative curb appeal improvements without breaking the bank.
Why do these improvements add value to my house?
External renovations attract home buyers and increase perceived home value in multiple ways:
- Freshly painted surfaces and new elements give the impression of a newer, well-cared-for home
- Good curb appeal translates to higher demand and a more lucrative selling price
- Upgraded exterior finishes increase buyers’ confidence in the home’s quality and structural integrity
- Smart additions like lighting enhance functionality alongside the appearance
Additionally, neighbourhoods with several upgraded homes tend to boost surrounding property values. So, your remodelling investment benefits visual appeal and the bottom line once you’re ready to sell.
With strategic planning, even modest exterior upgrades can impact your home’s aesthetic and financial value. Curb appeal plays an instrumental role in attracting potential home buyers.
Pay attention to surface maintenance through frequent power washing and new paint coats when existing finishes appear lacklustre. Well-designed greenery and outdoor lighting also lend your home style and character.
Consider the expected ROI alongside your priorities as you pick projects for renovating your exterior space. Some aspects, like entryways, offer functional improvements for everyday enjoyment and resale value.